“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
“Ask Jesus in your heart.”
“Make a decision for Christ.”
“Make Jesus Lord.” (As if He’s not already.)
and my personal favorite,
“Say ‘yes’ to God and we will have (world) peace!”
Ok, now it is time to stir the pot and get controversial! Actually, that is not my intention. I do hope to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ who are evangelists, and who work to labor in the harvest, sowing the good seed of the Word of God in our area. I hope to encourage you in your laboring as ambassadors of Christ.
I did not get saved ‘hearing’ the gospel in church or on the street, but by ‘hearing it’ by reading it in my bible in my room, all by myself. But someone mailed me that bible, sowing the word to me, which the Lord planted in the good soil that He had prepared, to His glory. The Lord used several passages of scripture in His gathering of me, a little sheep, into His flock. One was the first three chapters of John. One was John 14:6. And the last was Isaiah 53:6. This last verse was the text that the Lord used to bring me to repentance. Finally seeing and being convicted of my personal sin against our holy God, I cried out in repentance to Him, calling upon His name to have mercy on me and forgive my iniquity and save me. Suddenly I had faith in Jesus Christ. This was solely an act of God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, through the Word. Then I was trained in modern evangelical evangelism.
Over the last few years I have been thinking and studying a lot about methods of evangelism, but mostly about the message of the gospel. The gospel message I use now, is very different from the one I was trained in, many years ago as a babe in Christ.
Things are happening in the American church. I’ll let you do your own research. Movements are gaining popularity here that have at its core, a compromised gospel message, which is not the gospel at all. This compromise is accepted in order to achieve the goal of success: huge, popular earthly
kingdoms churches, which are appealing to the world, and which, unfortunately, serve the world, and the world’s purposes, rather than Christ and His flock.
I was at a burger joint a few months ago with my youngest. We were getting a burger after his ice hockey class one Saturday evening. There happened to be there, an elder of our previous church of 20 years. We had left a year and a half ago, after many years of considering this decision.
After some friendly chat about how our families are doing, I finally got up the nerve to ask him, (practically choking), “So, how is the ‘Vision 2010’ thing going?”
To my utter shock, he perked up, smiled and proceeded to tell me how excited they were, because the staff just came back from a ‘how to do church’ conference in which they learned how to ‘do church’ a new way. He went on to describe that they were making the decsision to enact this method of church, and explained that it involved remote buildings, perhaps on a campus, far away; miles, from the hosting church. The remote venues would each have their own building for worship, and people could choose which one they wanted to go to. I had never heard of this before. I asked him why the different buildings, why not have everyone worship together, and he informed me that it is so everyone can have the music they want. He said the sermon would be broadcast (sattelite or microwave) from the original, broadcasting church, to the remote venues, and everybody would hear the same sermon, live.
He went on to say that these would not be new or different churches, but all the people of those remote venues would be counted to the pastor of the broadcasting church. You know, like, if the broadcasting church has 1500, and the remote venues have 2500, then that church will now be said to have have 4000. I sat quitely, listening. He went on to say, “Yea I know, it’s marketing, yea, it’s commericalism, but hey, that’s the world, that’s what the world is doing, so we need to do that. But it’s good because then we will have success.”
I asked him what ‘success’ was.
“Numbers!” He blurted out enthusiatically, without even skipping a beat.
“But it’s good, because they will hear the gospel.”
I nodded silently. The Lord held my tongue.
Well the conversation kind of ended there as I sat in silence and then we mumbled our goodbyes and well wishes to each other.
My mind turned to the gospel presentation of Christmas 2005 where a false, man centered and ‘world centered’ gospel was preached. As the elder left, I sat hoping for the sake of all involved, that the thousands who will fill these remote venues, will not hear the Bill Hybels/Rick Warren gospel of happiness, psychology, and world peace, but the true gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ.
If you love preaching the true gospel, this sermon will thrill your heart. If you are learning how to share your faith, this will greatly help and encourage you. May you be blessed in listening.
From the Sermon (click link below):
- For many in today’s evangelical church, the gospel has been reduced to idioms such as, “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” “Jesus died for you,” or “invite Jesus into your heart,” or “come to Jesus and He will take care of your problem.” But what does the Bible have to say about any of these ideas? How does a Biblical understanding of the gospel differ from what is being put forth as evangelism by the modern church? By selling another gospel to Christians of this age, Satan has been employing many sincere men to pitch a man-centered half-gospel that turns out to be no gospel at all.
Sermon: The Errors of Modern Evangelism
Costly Gospel, cheap Gospel, False Gospel